Anyone who suffers from allergies can undoubtedly tell you of the irritation and discomfort associated with its consequences. In order to minimize symptoms, allergy sufferers do well to identify their personal allergy triggers so that they can successfully avoid them. For cat lovers especially, a cat allergy can mean a host of problems when it comes to choosing – or keeping – a pet.
A cat allergy generally stems from a person’s particular sensitivity to cat dander – the skin cells that shed through the cat’s fur. This sensitivity to cat dander can range from minimal – resulting in coughing, watery eyes, sneezing, and itching – to severe – resulting in everything from swelling to shortness of breath.
Clearly, those who have a cat allergy do best to not bring any cats into their home or to enter the homes of those who have cats in residence. But there are some who do not even discover that they have a cat allergy until they’ve brought their new pet into the home.
First and foremost, a severe cat allergy may require you to find an alternative living arrangement for your cat. Work with your doctor to ascertain the severity of your cat allergy. In the likely case of a minimal to moderate cat allergy, however, there are ways to combat the cat allergy so that you and your furry friend can live together harmoniously.
When it comes to your home, be sure that you are providing adequate ventilation with the use of an effective quality air filter. Be sure to vacuum frequently to rid your house of as much dander as possible. Have your animal groomed at the veterinarian or another location outside the home so as not to expose yourself to cat hair shed during the grooming process.
If you are aware of your cat allergy before you purchase a cat, look into the shorter-haired cats. These cats require minimal grooming and shed far less than their long-haired counterparts. In fact, you may find that you are less allergic to the shorter-haired breeds.
As a final and ongoing solution you may want to work with your doctor in terms of allergy shots or medications. This can save you a significant amount of aggravation and discomfort going forward – keeping you comfortable in your own home as well as the homes of other cat owners.
Ultimately, determining if your cat allergy is something that should hinder you from cat ownership is up to you and your doctor to decide. Most importantly, you should not put your health at risk. But if you are able to manage both your allergy care and the care for your pet, then you and your cat can happily co-exist.
For easy to understand, in depth information about cat allergies visit our ezGuide 2 Cats .